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Unitary State
 Unitary State An internal organization of a state that
places most power in the hands of central government
International Alliances
 1.) International Organizations – alliance of 2 or
more countries cooperate with each other without
giving up autonomy or self-determination
 United Nations: created after WW II to replace League
of Nations
International peacekeeping
Can pass economic sanctions
UN peacekeeping troops – voluntary
5 permanent members of Security Council = veto power – China,
France, Russia, UK, US
International Alliances – cont’d
 Regional Alliances – Economic
NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement - US, Canada, Mexico
– economic ties and free trade
 OPEC – Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries – Middle
East and Venezuela….keep oil process high
International Alliances – cont’d
 Regional Alliances – military
 NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization – created
after WW II (US and W. Europe) agreement of military
cooperation against E.Europe/Communism/Warsaw
Pact. After the fall of Communism NATO expanded
membership to much of E. Europe
Supranational Organizations
 Like an international organization but to some extent member nations
relinquish some level of state sovereignty in favor of group interests
(more binding)
 EU European Union started
1958 w/ 6 countries,
today over 20
 Free trade and economic
 Euro – common currency
 Helped Europe become leading
economic superpower
EU Membership
500 million
27 countries
*Countries shaded gray are candidates for EU membership
 Confederations – international organization that
brings several autonomous states together for a
common purpose
 Ex: CIS – Commonwealth of Independent States –
confederacy of independent states of former USSR
who’ve united because of common economic and
administrative needs
 Ex: Confederate States of America – loose tie
International Alliances – changed
dramatically since end of Cold War
 1945-1989: East (Communist, USSR) VERSUS West
(US, democracy, capitalism)
 Iron curtain
 Domino theory dominates foreign policy
 Since fall of Communism, alliances have shifted. Today
division is N/S – wealthy northern hemisphere of MDCs,
poorer S. hemisphere of LDC
 The E-W divide of the Cold War was
ideological/political but the N-S divide today is
economic and the division/disparity is increasing
 Future of nation-state is uncertain. Power being
drawn away from nation states to powerful
international corporations. Businesses crossing
political boundaries and pushing buttons of
politics. (i.e.. Blood Diamond)
 The Heartland Theory
 Definition - In 1904, Sir Halford Mackinder published the Heartland theory. The theory
proposed that whoever controls Eastern Europe controls the Heartland. It also supported
the concept of world dominance.
 Explanation - A more revised version explains that whoever controls the heartland,
controls the world island. Whoever controls the World Island, will soon rule the world.
In other words, the group or nation who dominates the heartland, can then extend its
domination over a far wider area. The heartland has primarily been Central Asia, the high
seas, and Eurasia.
 Example - The Nazi party was in favor of the concept during World War II. The idea was
very popular with the party, and they sought to achieve it. Also, the theory was accepted
by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Each nation made great territorial strides
toward the heartland, but to no avail.
 The Rimland Theory
 Definition - In 1942, Nichols Spyman created a theory which countered
Mackinder’s Heartland theory. Spyman stated that Eurasia’s rimland, the
coastal areas, is the key to controlling the World Island.
 Explanation - The rimland contains the Heartland. Whoever would control the
rimland, would eventually control the World Island. Whoever would control
the World Island would soon control the world.
 Example - His theory was influential mainly during the Cold War. The Soviet
Union desired to control the rimland around them. If accomplished, the Soviet
Union would control the heartland, rimland, and the World Island.
 Examples
 Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland are a part of the
UK, but exercise authority over their own land
 Canada and the province of Quebec